The Diet Begins Today

Hulking Mass of a ManSo today I begin reducing my fat intake. As you can see in the picture, I’m not exactly weeble-shaped (though when I wobble, I don’t fall down), but my weight’s high enough that I’m up a bracket in both life and health insurance (if only they could see me rather than imagining me to be rotund and gelatinous). And the jeans I bought in December that were a size up from last year’s jeans and still a little uncomfortable are on the verge of not fitting. So it’s time to do something about it.

All through college, I weighed in at a respectable (but what seemed then a very high) 185. I’ve got broad shoulders and sort of hulking, fairly muscular (against all odds, as I do nothing to maintain them) legs. About a year after moving to Knoxville, I had to get a physical for a new job, and I was shocked to discover that I had shot up to 220. Being happy and settled and not walking 5 miles a day around campus tends to have that effect on people. I hadn’t really noticed that I was that big. I coasted at that weight for a while, not really all that worried about it.

One day, it occurred to me that though I didn’t really think about it that much, I was a little self-conscious about what were emerging as little pre-man-titties (they weren’t real man titties, but they were getting a little soft and you could tell they were heading in that direction). I started watching for the fat content in the foods I was eating. A Stouffers lunch I favored (barbecued chicken strips with cheesy potatoes), it turned out, had 30 or 40 grams of fat, and it was a tiny meal not quite sufficient even for a little lunch. And I’m supposed to take in something like 60 grams of fat a day. So I was getting most of my fat for the day in this tiny meal and then going home and eating a no doubt gigantic meal two or three times as fatty as the lunch. I stopped eating those lunches pretty much immediately. And I cut out the Coke or two I was having daily (empty calories). And I stopped having seconds or thirds at most meals. And I got barbecued or baked chicken rather than fried, and I had one plate at the buffet rather than two or three.

Once I was used to the routine, I really didn’t mind it at all, and I began to feel better about myself. Pounds began to drop. Actually, I didn’t weigh myself (didn’t have a scale), so I don’t know that pounds dropped, but I was visibly thinner, and I cinched in two holes on my belt and got unsolicited comments from people who didn’t know I had changed my eating habits that I was looking much thinner. All of this was positively reinforcing and made me want to maintain my healthier lifestyle.

A reminder about man tittiesI think it was when I got my last job that things started going downhill again. At first, we’d go out to Ruby Tuesday once or twice a week, and I’d get the big drippy hamburger. Then I started drinking Cokes again, and just generally became less conscientious about what I ate. I was a two-plater at the buffet again and would pile on seconds or thirds of things that tasted good to me. And so at a recent doctor visit, I stood on the scale and was just shocked and embarrassed to discover that I was a whopping 235.

I thought about trying the whole low-carb thing because my sister-in-law’s doing that and has dropped a little layer of chub that a couple of years of being happy and settled had put on her. But I can’t see myself sticking to a diet without pasta and bread. So, though I’ve feinted without very much conviction in the direction of losing weight a couple of times over the last year or two, I’m going to try really hard again to watch the fat intake and see if I can drop some weight (I really need to drop 50 pounds), lest I wind up looking like the Meatloaf character in Fight Club. Wish me luck and conviction, and if you see me with a doughnut, slap my hand and comment on how voluptuous my man titties are looking.

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